Mike Phillips congratulates ‘poor man’s Mike Phillips’ Conor Murray on Lions captaincy

Conor Murray Mike Phillips

“The poor man’s Mike Phillips has done well.”

Mike Phillips has congratulated Conor Murray on being named as the British and Irish Lions’ captain, while also praising himself.

Former Wales and Lions scrum-half Phillips played with Murray during the 2013 tour to Australia, in which the Welshman started in two of the tests against the Wallabies.

Murray was used as a replacement in all three tests against the Wallabies in 2013, replacing Phillips on two occasions, something which the Welshman has seemingly referred to in a tongue-in-cheek tweet.

‘The poor man’s Mike Phillips has done well.’

“Murray being picked as captain is a great choice! Very likeable guy and he’s a starter for sure. The poor man’s Mike Phillips has done well,” Phillips tweeted.

While Phillips never captained the Lions, the Welsh scrum-half does have plenty of experience with the touring side, starting in all three test matches against the Springboks in 2009, as well as starting twice against the Wallabies in 2013.

Murray has acted as Phillips’ successor for the Lions, starting in all three tests against the All Blacks in 2017, as well as against Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The two Lions do share a number of characteristics, as both men are unusually large for scrum-halves, which has come in handy for the pair of them when going on sniping runs around the ruck.

Despite Phillips’ claim that Murray is a lesser version of himself, the Irishman can argue that he is more highly regarded in the eyes of Lions coaches, having toured three times with the best of Britain and Ireland, compared to Phillips’ two tours.

Conor Murray’s surprise selection as Lions captain.

The Limerick native was a surprise choice for Lions captain, having never captained either Munster or Ireland, but Murray is one of a few select players in Warren Gatland’s squad to have gone on three tours.

While captaining a team will be a new experience for Murray, the Irishman said he was “at ease” over his new role thanks to the leadership group within the Lions squad.

Murray’s selection as captain means he is likely to start in the tests against the Springboks, although he certainly isn’t guaranteed to, after Gatland opted against starting 2017 tour captain Sam Warburton in the first test against New Zealand in 2017.

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